My miserable experiences in testing and "removing" "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11"

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by RALandkamer, Nov 18, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RALandkamer

    RALandkamer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am sharing with this list an accounting of my experiences in testing and "removing" the "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product on my computer, which are described in detail in the following 2 forwarded e-mails hat I have sent to support@acronis.com.

    Does anyone on this list know of any Backup product other than Norton Ghost that will create a true Image Copy Backup of Windows XP Pro SP2, and which takes all of its Image Copy Backups under a basic DOS System where there are no open and constantly changing System Files? To my knowledge, only Norton Ghost takes all of its Image Copy Backups under a basic DOS System where there are no open and constantly changing System Files. If there is any other Backup Utility that takes its backups in this manner, then I would like to evaluate this product. Thank you.

    Richard A. Landkamer


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Richard A. Landkamer
    To: [email]support@acronis.com

    Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 1:25 PM
    Subject: Update RE: My previous evaluation of your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product


    To: support@acronis.com

    I sent you my previous evaluation of your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product before I actually attempted to Remove/Uninstall this bloatware product from my computer, which brought on a whole new set of problems. In short, it took me over an hour to manually remove most of what I could easily find of this product on my computer after the Remove process for this product in Windows XP Pro "Add or Remove Programs" appears to have removed nothing except the entry for this product in Windows XP Pro "Add or Remove Programs".

    I made the following three attempts to Remove your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product from my computer:

    In the first attempt, I simply clicked on "Remove" for this product in Windows XP Pro "Add or Remove Programs. After about 20 minutes of doing nothing, I clicked on Cancel in the running Remove process, the latter of which actually did work after running a few minutes. I then decided to use the Windows Installer Clean Up Utility to "Remove" your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product from my computer. This took less that 30 seconds. Subsequent investigation disclosed that the Windows Installer Clean Up Utility only removed the entry for this product in Windows XP Pro "Add or Remove Programs".

    For my second attempt, I first had to reinstall your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product from my original download of this product. This reinstall took about 15 minutes. When it came time to Remove this product from my computer, I turned off ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite, which I did not do the first time. I then clicked on "Remove" for this product in Windows XP Pro "Add or Remove Programs. This time the Removal process did not hang, and ended "normally" after running a few minutes. Unfortunately, the results were identical to when I previously used the Windows Installer Clean Up Utility to "Remove" your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product from my computer.

    My third attempt was to spend over an hour manually removing most of I could easily find of your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product on my computer. I began by searching for files that had "Acronis" as part of their name, and attempting to delete these files. I quickly found several modules that could not be deleted, since they were being used. I then used the Windows Process Explorer Utility, which is described at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/ProcessExplorer.mspx , and found two running Processes with Acronis on their name. I killed these two running Acronis processes, but I still could not delete these Acronis modules. I then used the Windows AutoRuns Utility, which is described at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/Autoruns.mspx , to delete everything that I could find related to the Acronis modules that I could not delete and/or the above running Acronis processes that I had found.

    When I originally installed my old 2003 Version of Norton Ghost, which I referred to in my following forwarded previous posting, Norton Ghost came as part of a bundled product called Norton SystemWorks 2004. This latter product has several other utilities, including Norton WinDoctor under Norton Utilities. I used Norton WinDoctor to delete around 200 entries that this utility found in the Windows XP Pro Registry for this Acronis product after I had deleted many of the Acronis files that I referred to in the previous paragraph. This is in addition to the Start Up entries in the Registry that I deleted with the above Windows AutoRuns Utility.

    I then rebooted my computer, after which I was able to delete the Acronis modules that I could not previously delete. According to the Windows AutoRuns Utility, I still have some Acronis modules and drivers in C:\Windows\System 32 - which I will probably get around to researching and deleting eventually.

    Bottom line in this whole miserable experience: Not only could I not get the "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product to Restore my Hard Drive from two Acronis Disaster Recovery Backups that I took to DVD-RWS, but I subsequently discovered that this Acronis bloatware product is obviously not intended to ever be Removed/Uninstalled from anyone's computer after it has been installed. Beware!

    Richard A. Landkamer


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Richard A. Landkamer
    To: support@acronis.com
    Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 2:11 AM
    Subject: Re: Evaluation period of Acronis True Image 10.0 comes to the end


    To: support@acronis.com

    Actually it was Acronis True Image 11 Home at http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/features-backup.html , that I tested. Unfortunately, your product failed my testing.

    I tested two "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backups to Ativa DVD+RW 4.7 GB Disks on a new DVD-RW Drive that I recently purchased. The System Information name of this drive is listed as "Name TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-S182D". The sales receipt that I got lists this drive somewhat differently as "DVDRW+- 18X Samsung Drive". Both times I used "High" compression, since this was one of the options available to me. The first backup was just a regular complete backup. The second backup was a Sector by Sector backup if I recall your Acronis terminology correctly. I encountered no difficulty in making these backups, which I also put through your "Verify" process with no errors.

    However, when I attempted to Restore these alleged "True Image" Backups to my Hard Drive, both times I got a pop up window informing me that these Backups were "corrupted", and could not be restored. So what good is an alleged ""True Image" Backup of any kind if it cannot subsequently be Restored? Also, just what does your alleged "Verify" process attempt to verifyo_O

    For the past few years, I have been using an old 2003 Version of Norton Ghost for my Image Copy Backups. Incidentally, before I tested your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product, I took two Image Copy Backups of my C: Hard Drive with this old 2003 Version of Norton Ghost. The first backup was to my D: Drive, which is a separate internal removable device of 120 Gig. (My C: Drive is 80 Gig.) The second backup was to my above new DVD-RW Drive. I expected my old 2003 Version of Norton Ghost to give me some kind of device error on this new DVD-RW Drive, but that did not happen. I was even able to Restore my C: Drive with my 1st test Backup to this new DVD-RW Drive with this old 2003 Version of Norton Ghost, and I used High compression in this Backup. If an old 2003 Version of Norton Ghost can do this, then surely your latest "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product should have been able to do the same. I was hoping to be able to replace my old 2003 Version of Norton Ghost with some version of Acronis, but it now appears that I will have to upgrade to the current version of Norton Ghost instead.

    I believe that there is a fundamental design flaw in your Acronis Backup products. Before I tested your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product, I never thought that you would attempt to take an alleged "True Image" Backup of any version of Windows XP while actually running Windows XP with all of its open and constantly changing System Files, particularly in the Windows XP Pro SP2 System Restore System. I think that you are attempting to do the impossible. As I presume you are aware, Norton Ghost takes all of its Backups only under a basic DOS System where there are no open and constantly changing System Files. I find it difficult to believe that any other kind of Image Copy Backup could possibly work and not be corrupted.

    Another problem that I had with your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product was that I could not get it to recognize my internal removable D: Drive as a Backup Device for Disaster Recovery purposes. I was able to take some kind of logical Backup to my internal removable D: Drive with your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product, but I could not use this Backup as an Image Copy that can be Restored in a Disaster Recovery situation. My old 2003 Version of Norton Ghost can Restore any of its Image Copy Backups on my internal removable D: Drive. Why can't your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product do the same?

    For some additional background information, you might want to look at a recent issue that I have opened in the Microsoft Sysinternals Forum at http://forum.sysinternals.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12723 . You will note that Microsoft's own RootkitRevealer Utility hangs on "Scanning C:\System Volume Information\catalog.wci" every time that I attempt to run RootkitRevealer. Since both RootkitRevealer and the System Restore System are Microsoft products, I think that Microsoft should be able to fix this problem. To date, Microsoft has not responded to my November 11, 2007, posting at http://forum.sysinternals.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12723 .

    At least your "Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home" Backup product did not hang attempting to Backup any files in my Windows XP Pro SP2 System Restore System. Or does Acronis even attempt to Backup any of these constantly changing System Fileso_O

    In conclusion, if Acronis ever develops a real True Image Backup that can actually be Restored, let me know. I think that you will only be able to do this if you take your Backups under a basic DOS System where there are no open and constantly changing System Files.

    Richard A. Landkamer

    ~Private communication removed as outlined in the Terms Of Service - Ron~
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2007
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    Nonsense. The last couple or so versions of Norton Ghost use "live imaging" which means they create images while Windows is running (they got this technology when they bought out PowerQuest). Acronis has posted a description of how their technology works and there are thousands of us using it without problem. If you don't want to backup while Windows is running, bootup the TI rescue CD. It is a Linux environment that will backup the static HD.

    You may have a problem but that doesn't mean this technology doesn't work.
     
  3. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Posts:
    2,387
    Location:
    Qld.
    First one of Acronis's downsides, are poor catch all error messages. Your images probably aren't corrupt, but that doesn't help to narrow down the problem.

    It is true that DVD backups can be more problematical than hard drive ones.

    You don't say, or at least I didn't see, whether you are trying the restore from the rescue CD or from within Windows.

    If from within Windows the image file verifies OK, are you able to mount the image and see it's contents?

    As far as the DVD drive is concerned, if you have InCD or other burning utilities running, it might be worth temporarily stopping them, in case they are interfering with TI's burning utility.

    Colin
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Re: My miserable experiences in testing and "removing" "Acronis [alleged] True Image

    RALandkamer,

    I can think of six companies that sell backup programs which create images while Windows is running.

    This hasn't been true for several years. There are now DOS and Windows versions of Ghost.

    Your experiences with True Image aren't those of the majority of users.
     
  5. RALandkamer

    RALandkamer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Re: My miserable experiences in testing and "removing" "Acronis [alleged] True Image

    I was trying to Restore from the Rescue DVD, since I was trying to simulate a Disaster Recovery type of Restore situation. I also have an Internal Removable D: Drive to which I took a full image Backup under Windows. However, I could not get the Rescue DVD to recognize that my D: Drive even exists, so my only other option was to simulate a Disaster Recovery Restore from my Rescue DVD.

    I had no other utilities running when I did any of my Acronis Backups under Windows XP Pro SP2.

    What was deleted as a "Private communication" from my original posting was a form letter e-mail sent to me by Acronis one day before my 15 day trial of this Acronis product expired. Since this 15 day trial has now expired, I cannot do any further testing at this point.

    Thank you for adding the link to the Acronis "guide on manual uninstallation of Acronis True Image 11 Home". I could have used that document last night when I was attempting to uninstall Acronis after my 15 day trial period had ended.

    Richard A. Landkamer


     
  6. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    RAlandkamer,

    I found the removal of True Image 11 a perfectly simple operation. There were a couple of images left behind in the secure zone but that was expected and an uninstall / re-install of the zone soon fixed that.
    No other trace of Version 11 was left behind anywhere else in my computer.
    I achieved this desirable state of affairs by restoring my System/Boot drives with an image made immediately before the Version 11 was installed.
    This is my own "Try and Decide" system which I have employed ever since I startad with TI V8 some long while ago.
    Did you not have a Ghost backup to which you could have returned? It would have saved a lot of grief.

    Xpilot
     
  7. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Posts:
    3,710
    ATI has the same problems installing and unisntalling that many programs have under windows. If any of the services or processes related to the program are running, then not all directories/files are removed, a reboot is required and even then stuff is often left behind. Also, lots of registry entries can be left behind. The registry entries aren't usually a problem unless you later try to install a later version of the program.

    After an uninstall in windows, one needs to check that the all the appropriate driectories and and registry entries have been removed. Some software companies not make available "cleaners" that do this purge work. I think it first became common with Anti-malware programs but programs like Nero, for example, have them too. ATI definitely needs one.
     
  8. MikeRealti

    MikeRealti Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Posts:
    1
    I have had really good succes with using StorageCraft ShadowProtect v3, it also has HIR Hardware Independant Restore capabilites... I was able to migrate a XP, SBS and W2003 server from Single processor Intel to a dual processor HP AMD... absolutely no problems.
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    Two things.

    1st. I can name at least 4 imaging programs, including V9 of ATI imaged from windows perfectly.

    My hunch is, RALandkamer, is that your problem may have been that fact that Zone Alarm is installed, and I'll bet was enabled during your install uninstall efforts. WHen I used to use ZA, I found I had to totally disable it or it would screw up some installations.

    Your problems sound much like some kind of conflict, not a universal problem as you alledge against Acronis.

    Pete
     
  10. davcbr

    davcbr Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Posts:
    39
    I just verified on my setup that Zone alarm interfers with the creation of the boot disk [using disk director suite; true image probably the same].

    Zone alarm is a damned good program to have, but if you want to add to or mod your system, all you have to do is pull your net connection and restart without zone alarm. Same with other AV programs.

    dc
     
  11. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Posts:
    3,335
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    As the saying goes, "It's not rocket science". :D
     
  12. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    Well it just goes to prove that not all computers are configured in the same way.
    I have done nearing 1000 full drive images and about 500 restores. Can't be bothered with image validations.
    I never once have had to disable Zone alarm or turn off AVG even though I have all the images created in Windows. FWIW the last time I looked there were 44 programs shown in task manager. The same applies to installs and updates never had a problem with everything up and running.

    I have had only a handfull of failed restores over the last eighteen months until the other day when I had two in sucession. Then on several re-boots I got the message that no hard drives were installed. So I opened the tower re-seated the promise ultra controller card and exercised the main drive connector. I also re-routed the ribbon lead to provide a bit more slack and all is back to normal. Clearly a hardware failure pure and simple.

    Xpilot
     
  13. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    Hi Xpilot

    Not sure if what I remember seeing would have affected good imaging software, and especially a restore. But is sure interfered with installing/uninstalling. Always something different with different software.

    Pete
     
  14. RALandkamer

    RALandkamer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Xpilot:

    I downloaded Acronis True Image 11 Home at the beginning of my 15 day trial, and tried to Remove/Uninstall it at the end of that period. Any Norton Ghost Backup that old would be useless. I would lose about 2 weeks activity on my computer in this type of situation.

    However, I did take 2 Norton Ghost Backups immediately before my futile attempts to Restore the two Acronis complete Full Image Backups that I took. In this situation, I was fully prepared if Acronis had Restored my Hard Drive, and I subsequently discovered that I could not reboot my computer.

    Richard A. Landkamer
     
  15. RALandkamer

    RALandkamer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Re: My miserable experiences in testing and "removing" "Acronis [alleged] True Image

    Xpilot:

    I downloaded Acronis True Image 11 Home at the beginning of my 15 day trial, and tried to Remove/Uninstall it at the end of that period. Any Norton Ghost Backup that old would be useless. I would lose about 2 weeks activity on my computer in this type of situation.

    However, I did take 2 Norton Ghost Backups immediately before my futile attempts to Restore the two Acronis complete Full Image Backups that I took. In this situation, I was fully prepared if Acronis had Restored my Hard Drive, and I subsequently discovered that I could not reboot my computer.


     
  16. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Posts:
    2,387
    Location:
    Qld.
    Re: My miserable experiences in testing and "removing" "Acronis [alleged] True Image

    Hang on - with the trial version isn't the rescue CD 'hampered' in some way?


    Colin
     
  17. RALandkamer

    RALandkamer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Re: My miserable experiences in testing and "removing" "Acronis [alleged] True Image

    What I was testing appeared to have the function to do the type of Disaster Recovery type of Restore that I was attempting to do.

    I believe that my failed Restore attempts are some version of the problem that is described at https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=185256 . What I find so interesting is that John Meyer, the person who made this original posting on September 11, 2007, made the following statement in this posting:

    "I am using TI 9.0, build #3854, but based on posts in this forum and elsewhere on the Internet, version 10 doesn't seem to have fixed these fundamental problems."

    Based upon this information, what happened to me does not appear to be a new problem. Instead, this appears to be an old problem that Acronis is not in any hurry to fix.

    Richard A. Landkamer


     
  18. RALandkamer

    RALandkamer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Re: My miserable experiences in testing and "removing" "Acronis [alleged] True Image

    Brian:

    Another poster to this issue stated the following:

    "The last couple or so versions of Norton Ghost use "live imaging" which means they create images while Windows is running (they got this technology when they bought out PowerQuest). Acronis has posted a description of how their technology works and there are thousands of us using it without problem."

    Obviously my original information is out of date. You made the statement that "There are now DOS and Windows versions of Ghost." Can you tell me if there is any current version of Norton Ghost that still runs under DOS, or has Symantec stopped using DOS in all of its current versions of Norton Ghost?

    Richard A. Landkamer


     
  19. RALandkamer

    RALandkamer Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Re: My miserable experiences in testing and "removing" "Acronis [alleged] True Image

    Peter:

    I think that I turned off ZoneAlarm the very first time that I installed Acronis True Image 11 Home, but I am not certain of this.

    I do recall that when I took my first test full image Backup that I could not subsequently Restore, I left ZoneAlarm running. At that time, I did not realize that Acronis takes all of its Backups while Windows XP is running. However, for my second full image Backup that I could not subsequently Restore, I remember that I turned off ZoneAlarm, since I wanted to make certain that ZoneAlarm could not interfere with that test Backup.

    With regard to when I Removed/Uninstalled ZoneAlarm, I stated the following in my original posting:

    "For my second attempt, I first had to reinstall your 'Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home' Backup product from my original download of this product. This reinstall took about 15 minutes. When it came time to Remove this product from my computer, I turned off ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite, which I did not do the first time. I then clicked on 'Remove' for this product in Windows XP Pro 'Add or Remove Programs'. This time the Removal process did not hang, and ended 'normally' after running a few minutes. Unfortunately, the results were identical to when I previously used the Windows Installer Clean Up Utility to 'Remove' your 'Acronis [alleged] True Image 11 Home' Backup product from my computer."

    FYI, prior to September, 2007, I was using ZoneAlarm Pro only for my Internet firewall, and I was using McAfee as my Virus Scanner. When that subscription to ZoneAlarm Pro expired in September, ZoneAlarm was promoting its complete ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite for the same price that it would have cost me to purchase another 2 years of ZoneAlarm Pro. Since my subscription to McAfee Virus Scan was going to expire the following month, I decided to upgrade to the complete ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite.

    I had less problems when I was running my original configuration of ZoneAlarm Pro and McAfee. McAfee took much less time to download its Anti-virus updates, than ZoneAlarm now takes to download its Anti-virus updates. In addition, the Anti-Spyware updates that ZoneAlarm Pro could download and install with no problem could not be downloaded and installed with the official version of ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite that I purchased. To fix this problem, I had to "temporarily" use a Beta Test Version of ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite in which this problem is fixed. I am now running the latest "temporary" Beta Test version of ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite, since the current official version of ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite has not changed since I originally purchased ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite, but the first "temporary" Beta Test version of ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite that I used to fix the Anti-Spyware download problem subsequently expired.

    I am now wondering if I made the right decision when I switched to using ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite back in September, which I erroneously thought would be fully functional. I should have been more suspicious when this product was being aggressively promoted for the same price as ZoneAlarm Pro.

    Richard A. Landkamer


     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.